nectar feeding bats

It’s that special time of year in the Sonoran Desert when the Lesser Long-nosed bats return to the region.  If you live where the bats forage and you leave hummingbird feeders up at night, you will know these bats have arrived by the evidence of empty feeders and sticky sugar water left on the ground in the morning.  They are sloppy eaters.  The Lesser Long-nosed bat is a nectarivore and feeds on the blooms of Saguaros, cardón cactus, agave and other night-blooming cacti.

I recently set up one of my motion-activated wildlife cameras to catch these endangered mammals in action.  First, here’s a video of the bats feeding from a flower on a night blooming cactus in my yard:

And here is a video of them feeding from a hummingbird feeder I set in my yard just for the bats:

Butterflies

On my way to check my wildlife cameras in the Rincon Mountains near Tucson I came upon these butterflies. Does anyone know what plant this is?

Butterfly. Copyright: Greg Joder
Queen Butterfly. Copyright: Greg Joder.
Pipevine Swallowtail. Copyright: Greg Joder.

Total Solar Eclipse

On a whim I met my brothers in Wyoming at Glendo State Park for the 2017 total solar eclipse. Our camp was within 500 meters of the center line of totality. Since I made the trip without much planning, I had only a video camera, DSLR with 400mm lens and no appropriate filters for looking directly at the sun. Because of this we were only able to capture images once the moon completely blocked the sun.

Total solar eclipse. Copyright: D. Joder

As the sky rapidly darkened, the white pelicans flew back to the lake to roost and the nighthawks began flying, looking for bugs. The air also changed, growing colder. The scene at totality was surreal. I felt as if I were in a sci-fi movie. When I looked at the sun I saw a dark black circle surrounded by expanding plasma jets. We could see stars and planets!

Hummingbird Nest Update

The little hummingbird continues to incubate her two eggs.  Based on information I’ve read the incubation period is nearing its end and soon her offspring will hatch.  In the meantime, she patiently sits and waits for her kids to crack open their eggs and begin begging for food.

Broad-billed Hummingbird on Nest. Copyright: Greg Joder.

Monsoon Flooding

There have been a number of days here in Tucson when the monsoon rains have caused a lot of flooding. Today I checked two of my trail cameras and found that one of them captured two flooding events. The following clips are chronological and if you keep an eye on the rock in the upper right you’ll see how high the flooding range is. The water level rises and falls greater than 6 feet between each heavy rain event and in a short period of time: